I always seemed to have the hardest time staying on track over the weekends. I’d do “okay” throughout the week days, but then the weekend would come and BAM, I fell right off the perilously balanced wagon I had been riding on. It happened every time I tried to lose weight.
It was extremely frustrating to feel my self-control slipping away and even more frustrating when I would realize on Sunday night how awful I had eaten over the weekend. I felt very guilty and felt like a failure. Why was it that I could make decent choices during the week but then fall apart every single weekend?
On the average “dieting” weekend I’d end up baking cookies, going out to eat several times, overeating at home, and snacking on foods I ordinarily would have turned down. These episodes didn’t do anything to help the scale move, but rather hindered my small forward progress. Eventually, faced with yet another Monday of starting over, I’d just give up all together.
Looking back, I realize that for me, weekends were harder for several reasons:
- My daily schedule was much more fluid.
- I didn’t plan my meals on the weekend (I don’t know who I thought would do it – but I didn’t!)
- The weekends felt like a holiday and I celebrated thus.
- I wanted to reward myself for all the deprivation I experienced Monday – Friday.
I realize that none of these reasons are very good ones for making poor choices, but they were the excuses I used during those 10 years of unsuccessful weight control. And looking back I think for me, the weekends were harder than the week. Some things that I did differently during my successful weight loss endeavor were:
- Planned every meal – even if it was going to be a restaurant meal
- As best I could – plannedfor unexpected snacking opportunities, ie: meeting friends, going to the movies, etc.
- Didn’t use the weekend as an excuse not to exercise
- Gave myself permission to “mess up” without feeling like I had ruined my entire life
Those four things, coupled with a lot of saying, “I don’t need or want that,” really helped me get through the weekends without completely sabotaging myself. And the great thing was that every weekend that passed successfully was one I actually enjoyed more. I so enjoyed spending time with friends and family without worrying so much about what I was going to eat. I loved being able to have that special dessert because I had planned for it. And because I had planned for it I didn’t feel as though I needed to eat the entire thing. Those strategies were actually very freeing.
So where are you right now? Weekends harder than weekdays? If so, what do you do to combat that tendency, or what winning ideas do you have to help us all in this journey? Diane